OASIS to get BPEL4WS jurisdiction

Microsoft, IBM and BEA Systems plan to submit their Web services choreography and business process specification, initially proposed in August 2002, to a standards body later this week.

The Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) specification is expected to be submitted to Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), Carol Geyer, spokeswoman for OASIS, confirmed.

"We anticipate it will probably be tomorrow and a charter will be submitted tomorrow or maybe Thursday," Geyer said. The proposing companies still are making modifications to the charter for BPEL4WS that they submit to OASIS, she said.

According to a source familiar with the announcement, SAP and Siebel Systems are joining the original developers of BPEL4WS, IBM, Microsoft, and BEA, in the submission.

BPEL4WS is intended to provide for more automated Web services, which is considered crucial to spread the use of Web services for back-end integration for applications such as e-commerce.

The submission of BPEL4WS to a standards organization such as OASIS or World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been awaited. A technical committee is to be formed to deliberate on the specification at OASIS, with an initial meeting to be held May 15, the source said.

Co-submitters of the technical committee charter include the following: Accenture, Akazi, CGEY, Collaxa, CommerceQuest, EDS, Vignette, FiveSight, Handysoft, HP, i2, JDEdwards, NEC, Novell, OpenStorm, SeeBeyond, SourceCode, TeamPlate, Tibco, Unisys, Ultimus, and WebV2, according to the source.

One issue, whether the specification would be submitted royalty-free, apparently has been resolved, as all submitters have agreed to not seek royalties, or financial compensation, for their contributions to the specification used in any implementations, according to the source.

IBM and BEA have previously agreed to not seek royalties, but Microsoft had not made such a vow.

BPEL4WS also is being upgraded to Version 1.1, although details on improvements were not immediately available.

OASIS was selected as the recipient of BPEL4WS because technical work at OASIS is oriented toward business applications, and membership includes technology companies as well as business process automation specialists and customers using business process automation, the source said.

Sun Microsystems has proposed a rival specification, Web Services Choreography Interface, which is being deliberated on by W3C.

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